News 12 @ 11 Saturday March 15, 2008
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Clayton State withstood a furious, late-game rally from USC Aiken and upset the top-seeded and sixth-ranked Pacers 60-58 Saturday in the third quarterfinal game of the opening day of the 2008 NCAA South Atlantic Regional in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
With the victory, the Lakers improved to 18-14 and will face the winner of Saturday’s last quarterfinal matchup between No. 4 Virginia Union and No. 5 Lenoir-Rhyne. The win also marks Clayton State’s second victory over USC Aiken in six days -- the Lakers topped the Pacers 89-87 in triple overtime on Sunday, March 9 at the USCA Convocation Center to capture the Peach Belt Conference Tournament championship.
Michael Sloan and Tracey Williams each tallied 14 points for the Lakers, while Bernard Fields added 10 points.
Cordaryl Ballard notched a game-high 20 for the Pacers, who had four players reach double figures. Jeremy Fears netted 16 points, Chris Commons managed 11 and Job Casimir chipped in 10, all in the second half. The loss ended the season for USC Aiken, the Peach Belt Conference regular-season champions, at 27-4.
The Lakers shot 52.5 percent from the floor and limited USC Aiken to just 36.7 percent shooting from the field. The Pacers went just 5-for-27 from long distance.
Clayton State led 56-46 with 3:48 remaining when the Pacers began a furious rally. USCA rattled off a 9-0 spurt that included five points from Casimir, pulling to within one at 56-55 on a layup by Commons.
Williams answered with two free throws with 47 seconds left.